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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Roundtable: Gompers Investigation, District Attorney Endorsement, Dividing Cities Into Districts

Gompers Investigation, District Attorney Endorsement, Dividing Cities Into Districts

PANEL

Brad Racino, inewsource

John Wilkens, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Alison St John, KPBS News

Transcript

WHAT'S GOING ON AT GOMPERS?

The Story

Gompers Preparatory Academy has risen from an underperforming public school, to a nationally recognized charter school in San Diego. It boasts that nearly all its graduates go on to college.

But an inewsource investigation reveals that standardized test scores at Gompers are significantly lower than other schools in San Diego and across the state. Some former teachers said they were pressured into giving students high marks, while some former students said they are struggling to keep up in college.

The Conversation

–Is Gompers adequately preparing students for college, as promised?

–Where is the line between lifting students up, and misleading them?

–Gompers has fierce support among teachers, students and parents. Do they think this report is unfair?

Related: Data, teachers’ allegations undermine Gompers’ college-ready promise

Related: Gompers in the spotlight: Teachers and students speak out

BOTCHED MURDER INVESTIGATION HAUNTS DA ENDORSEMENT

The Story

Veteran prosecutor Summer Stephan has been endorsed by outgoing San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. But her involvement in a botched murder case has some wondering why.

Stephan prosecuted the Stephanie Crowe murder case, in which the victim’s brother, along with two of his friends, were charged in 1998. The case against them was dropped before trial after the victim’s blood was found on the clothing of a man who Escondido Police had previously questioned and released.

The bungling of this investigation, and the support of the Crowe family, helped Bonnie Dumanis take the job away from then-District Attorney Paul Pfingst 14 years ago. But now, Dumanis wants county supervisors to pick Stephan as her interim replacement.

The Crowe family is furious, and said Dumanis used their murdered daughter as a campaign prop.

The Conversation

–How was the tragedy of murder compounded for the victim’s family?

–What happens when the district attorney’s critical role in our system of checks and balances fails?

–What do Stephan and Dumanis say about the political irony surrounding them and the notorious Crowe case?

Related: DA Dumanis, elected on criticism of Crowe case, now endorsing one of its prosecutors as her replacement

DIVIDING INTO DISTRICTS

The Story

Voters in the city of San Diego have been choosing their city council members by district since 1988. And now many cities in the county are following suit. But it it's not by choice.

A Malibu-based lawyer has been sending letters to cities, threatening a lawsuit if they don’t move to a district model. He said the cities are in violation of the California Voting Rights Act and city-wide elections dilute the minority vote.

All California cities that have fought back have lost their cases. And like dominos, cities in San Diego’s North County have fallen in line.

Some residents are angry, and don’t want to change the way they choose their representatives.

The Conversation:

–Have cities with districts seen an increase in minority representation?

–Why are some residents against the change?

–Was there pushback when the city of San Diego made the change to districts?

Related: Like Dominos, North San Diego County Cities Are Moving To District Elections

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